In recent months, a local group of farmers, gardeners, and foodies has emerged with one focus: to grow our local food economy. Their big idea is centered around the concept of a “hub,” (hence the name, Riverton Local Food Hub). The “Hub” is comprised of several different spokes, each of which supports the producer and our local food economy as a whole.
With the Hub’s Executive Director, Jack Schmidt, at the helm, the group is driving forward with their first spoke: a community kitchen.
“A shared community kitchen will be the first of many goals for the Food Hub,” explained Amanda Gaudern, RLFH Board Member. “The kitchen could serve many goals. It will be a cafe and meeting space with local food catering. But more importantly, the Certified Kitchen will help local producers get their products out to the masses and into our local restaurants.”
Back in June, the Hub presented to the Riverton Airport Board their hopes to utilize the former Airport Cafe as a shared, community kitchen. To which the Airport Board voted unanimously in favor, and drafting of the lease began. A few weeks later and some minor tweaks to the terms, the Riverton City Council voted in favor of the Lease. Schmidt informed County 10 that the Hub will be signing this Lease early next week.
And… they’re off!
The group’s first order of business will be getting the kitchen Certified to USDA and FDA standards. Once certified the Hub will be able to open it up for community members to utilize the kitchen to make their jams, jellies, bread, cheesecakes, and much more. All for a small fee, or as Jack says, “sweat equity.” 😉 Ideally, those same products could be sold at the kitchen to locals and airport passengers. To learn more about how you could use the shared kitchen, contact Jack at 307-349-4646 or by email at [email protected].
Jack himself will be the first member to use the kitchen. Soon, he will be serving a humble menu of breakfast and lunch items. All of which will be made with 100% locally-sourced veggies and meats. “We do not want to compete with any restaurants in the area,” said Jack. “Really, we want to help our local growers and producers get their products into all the restaurants in town.”
This is just the beginning of a long list of ideas that have been generated to grow Fremont County’s local food industry. Teaser: An egg grading facility, a network of industry experts, and a Harvest Party for Hub Club Members is in the works.
To follow the growth of Fremont County’s local food economy, SUBSCRIBE to the Fremont Food Hub podcast where Jack Schmidt will host weekly updates on the local food hub, ways to eat better and locally across Wyoming, and if we’re lucky he’ll include a little cowboy poetry.